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Readers of Eastern Christianity and Late Antique Philosophy will find a collection of authoritative papers from across the Neoplatonic and Eastern Christian traditions. It is only recently that scholars have started to take notice of the Eastern Christian engagement with late antique philosophical texts. This volume builds upon this new interest in order to show the dynamic nature of Neoplatonism and Eastern Christianity at a time when both faced a variety of challenges. The legacy of Greek philosophy in the Christian East fills the gap between the schools of Alexandria and Baghdad and brings into focus the intellectual history of the period. The aim of the volume is to stimulate interest in late antique philosophy and its reception in the Christian East.
Studies in Honor of Alexander Golitzin
Editor: Andrei A. Orlov
The essays collected in Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism intend to honor Alexander Golitzin, a scholar known for his keen attention to the Jewish matrix of Eastern Orthodox spirituality. Following Golitzin's insights, this Festschrift explores influences of Jewish apocalypticism and mysticism on certain early and late Christian authors, including Irenaeus, Origen, Evagrius of Pontus, Pseudo-Dionysius, and Symeon the New Theologian. Special attention is given to Jewish theophanic traditions regarding the beatific vision of the divine Glory (Kavod), which profoundly shaped Eastern Christian theology and liturgy. This volume demonstrates that recent developments in the study of apocalyptic literature, the Qumran Scrolls, Gnosticism, and later Jewish mysticism throw new and welcome light on the sources and continuities of Orthodox theology, liturgy, and spirituality

Abstract

This paper evaluates the attitudes toward the contemporary Jerusalem priesthood and cult on evidence in the Visions of Amram. To the extent that this issue has been treated, scholars have generally argued that the Visions of Amram originated among groups that were hostile to the Aaronid priesthood. Such treatments, however, have left some of the most germane fragments unexamined, several of which deal directly with matters pertaining to the cult, Aaron, and his offspring (4Q547 5 1–3; 8 2–4; 9 5–7; 4Q545 4 16–19). My study incorporates these fragments into the larger discussion, and in so doing demonstrates that many of the views expressed in the secondary literature require revision. My analysis shows that, though the social location of the Visions of Amram is difficult to determine, we should not be too quick to dismiss the possibility that the writer was a supporter of the contemporary status quo in the temple, given the elevated status afforded to both Aaron and his eternal posterity throughout the text.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
The Rhetoric of Ritual Failure in the Polemic Against the Host of Heaven
In Casting Down the Host of Heaven Cat Quine analyses the ambiguous nature of the Host and explores the role of ritual in the polemic against their worship. Although commonly assumed to be YHWH’s divine army, the book reveals their non-military and fluid nature. Quine demonstrates that it was the fluidity of the Host and their roles in the divine realm that permitted the creation of wide-ranging polemic against their worship. Her analysis shows that this polemic was expressed in ritual terms which persuaded its audiences, both ancient and modern, of its legitimacy and authority.
Mutual Recognition
In Early Christians Adapting to the Roman Empire: Mutual Recognition Niko Huttunen challenges the interpretation of early Christian texts as anti-imperial documents. He presents examples of the positive relationship between early Christians and the Roman society. With the concept of “recognition” Huttunen describes a situation in which the parties can come to terms with each other without full agreement. Huttunen provides examples of non-Christian philosophers recognizing early Christians. He claims that recognition was a response to Christians who presented themselves as philosophers. Huttunen reads Romans 13 as a part of the ancient tradition of the law of the stronger. His pioneering study on early Christian soldiers uncovers the practical dimension of recognizing the empire.
This work consists of an introduction, transcription, translation, and commentary to the Greek translation of Isaiah in the Codex Sinaiticus. It comments on the Greek language in its context, especially on how the Greek language is stretched beyond its normal range of function. It addresses the peculiarities of Codex Sinaiticus, including its history, scribes, divisions, and orthography. In line with the aims of the Brill Septuagint Commentary Series, it mainly discusses not how the text was produced, but how it was read.
A Prolegomenon to the Study of Paul examines foundational assumptions that ground all interpretations of the apostle Paul. This examination touches on several topics, invoking issues pertaining to truth, hermeneutics, canonicity, historiography, pseudonymity, literary genres, and authority. Underlying all of this is a guiding thesis, namely, that every encounter with Paul involves “Pauline Archimedean points,” or fixed points of reference that establish the measure for constructing any interpretation of Paul whatsoever. Building on this, the author interrogates various issues that inform the formation of these Pauline Archimedean points, in pursuit of an important but modest goal: to urge Pauline readers to engage in a modicum of self-reflection over the various considerations that precondition all of our efforts to comprehend Paul.
The Function of the Book of the Twelve Prophets in Acts
How Luke uses and interprets Scripture continues to captivate many. In his new work The Prophets Agree, a title inspired by James’ words at the Jerusalem Council, Aaron W. White turns over one rock that has remained unturned. Interpretation of the four quotations of the Minor Prophets in Acts frequently isolates each citation from the other. However, this full-length study of the place of the Minor Prophets in Acts asks what difference it makes to regard these four quotations as a singular contribution to Acts from a unified source.
By an in-depth study of each quotation, an innovative method of intertextuality, and an eye to the overall agenda of Acts, White proves the importance of reading the Twelve Prophets in unity when it is quoted in Acts, and the integral role it plays in the redemptive-historical plot line of Acts.
In Psalm 91 and Demonic Menace Gerrit Vreugdenhil offers a thorough analysis of the text, structure and genre of Psalm 91. Already in its earliest interpretations, Psalm 91 has been associated with the demonic realm. The use of this psalm on ancient amulets and in magic texts calls for an explanation. Examining the psalms images of threat from a cognitive science perspective, Vreugdenhil shows that many of these terms carry associations with sorcery and magic, incantations and curses, diseases and demonic threat. The psalm takes demonic threat seriously, but also draws attention to the protection offered by JHWH. Finally, the author proposes an outline of the situational context in which Psalm 91 might have functioned.
Gender, Intertextuality, and Politics
In Uncovering Jewish Creativity in Book III of the Sibylline oracles, Ashley L. Bacchi reclaims the importance of the Sibyl as a female voice of prophecy and reveals new layers of intertextual references that address political, cultural, and religious dialogue in second-century Ptolemaic Egypt. This investigation stands apart from prior examinations by reorienting the discussion around the desirability of the pseudonym to an issue of gender. It questions the impact of identifying the author’s message with a female prophetic figure and challenges the previous identification of paraphrased Greek oracles and their function within the text. Verses previously seen as anomalous are transferred from the role of Greek subterfuge of Jewish identity to offering nuanced support of monotheistic themes.